Lorryloads of rubbish leaving Greyfriars bus station

Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.
Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.

Twelve lorryloads of rubbish were taken out of the offices above Northampton’s Greyfriars bus station in just one day this week.

Wrecking crews moved into the 36-year-old building on Monday to clear out the empty offices before the building is finally demolished.

Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.

Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.

The leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), joined the Chron on a tour of the vacant offices to get a last glimpse of them before they are completely gutted.

He said: “I’m pleased we’ve started to decommission the building. It’s a long process, but when the new bus station is completed, we can close Greyfriars and start on its demolition. That won’t happen overnight, but it should start next year.”

The town’s new bus station, on the site of the former Fishmarket, is due to be completed at the beginning of next year and it is expected the demolition of Greyfriars will then begin in March 2014.

Councillor Mackintosh said: “We don’t know exactly how long the whole demolition process will take because it will have to be done brick by brick. We can’t just blow it up.”

Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.

Tour of Greyfriars bus station, which is now being demolished.

Greyfriars opened in April 1976. By August that year, it was already being described as “the biggest mistake in Northampton’s history”.

The offices above the bus station remained empty until 1982.

They were occupied by Barclaycard staff until 1997, but have remained empty ever since.

Despite the length of time the offices have been vacant, there are still hundreds of desks and chairs in the building, with many areas looking as if workers had only just left.

Piles of Barclaycard paperwork, all dated from 1996, also litter the floors as do computer manuals and floppy discs, as well as notes written by workers almost 20 years ago.

The building’s staff canteen also looks as if it only closed a few days ago, with plastic knives still sitting waiting to be taken away by hungry diners and the well-used ovens still caked in the grease of thousands of dinners.

The former landmark rooftop gardens however are in a much worse state. Ponds which once stood as tranquil pools are now filled with a thick green slime and dead pigeons also litter the floor.

Councillor Mackintosh said: “Clearly over the years, the bus station has fallen into a state of total disrepair.

“It costs us a lot of money to keep it running, which is not good for the taxpayer.

“The building is disgusting and beyond repair.”

The £7.2 million Greyfriars building opened on April 25, 1976.

By May 1976, the building was described as ‘a white elephant’.

In September 1977, the building was called one of the most offensive spots in town.

The offices above the bus station remained empty until 1982.

The first company to take over the offices was Lummus engineers. They moved out in 1986.

Barclaycard moved into the building in 1986 and left in 1997.